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Why your business should consider TikTok marketing

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TikTok on top of the world

Did you go from being blissfully unaware of the existence of TikTok to suddenly realising it was everywhere, all the time? You’re not alone – the video sharing app has rocketed into public consciousness since its founding in 2016 to a total of 1.8 billion monthly active users (as of writing) and it’s been downloaded more times in the U.S. than any other social app since it emerged.

But what has contributed to TikTok’s sudden rise to power? Well, you may have heard talk of the scarily accurate TikTok algorithm. This story begins with TikTok’s now feted ‘For You Page’. Imagine Facebook or Instagram with no friends – pretty boring, right? This is one of TikTok’s main points of difference to its competitors – the ‘For You Page’ serves you videos whether you have any friends on the app or not. But this is where the magic really begins – after serving you a few videos, its famous algorithm starts to register how you’ve responded to what it’s shown you so far. The things you seemed to like or interact with most, it serves you more of.

So, the more you watch, the more you want to watch. Until you find you’re stuck in a scroll hole and need to climb your way back out again. And this is why it is such an effective marketing tool. In fact, consumer spending on TikTok reached $6 billion in 2022 and it is expected to generate more than $11 billion in U.S. ad revenue by 2024 – outstripping rivals like Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

Is TikTok right for my business?

Of course, just because TikTok is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for every business. And even though increasing amounts of people of all ages are using TikTok, the app still has a core demographic. 5% and 17% of TikTok’s global audience are women and men (respectively) between 18 and 24 years old. 55+ year-olds, on the other hand, make up the smallest group of users, at 1.7%.

So, why use TikTok for your business? Because TikTok is an ideal marketing tool if Gen Z is your target demographic. Gen Z comprises people born between 1996 and 2010 – a fairly wide range, but in short Gen Z are the generation below Millennials.

However, TikTok is used for more than just sales – it can also be used effectively for brand awareness. Of course, your target demographic is still important here, but there are still a lot of users outside of the Gen Z age group using the app. This means, even if your target demographic isn’t Gen Z, you could still make use of the platform if it aligns with your business.

By that we mean – what are you trying to say and how do you like to say it? If you like to have a bit of fun with your marketing, and your TOV tends to be on the less-than-serious side, TikTok might well be the right platform to engage with. But if you prefer to communicate in a more professional tone, there are probably other apps that could serve your needs more effectively.

Benefits of using TikTok for your business marketing

1. Have fun with your marketing

If you’d like to attract more followers and start creating a dialogue with your customers, creating fun and entertaining videos is a great way to do this. In fact, doing so is cheap, cheerful, and the app does the hard parts for you. All you need to do is be a bit creative, especially if you’d like to create something that really makes a splash.

2. Increase brand awareness

Of course, when you are increasing your social media followers, entertaining them, and creating a relationship with them, you are naturally going to increase your brand awareness. And brand awareness produces leads. Essentially, you want your business to the first one your followers think of what they need what you provide. TikTok is a great way to make that happen.

3. Engage in influencer marketing

Influencer marketing can be an extremely powerful tool. Influencers are TikTok users who have a large number of followers. This means, when they advertise a product, they are able to advertise it to a huge amount of people in one go, all of whom are invested in what they have to say. Many influencers work on a principle of authenticity – if they don’t genuinely believe in the product, they won’t talk about it. This means followers tend to trust what they say and find themselves more easily influenced.

4. Make use of hashtags

TikTok has a discover page that means users can search for content based on a topic, such as food or pets. This means content creators can help their content reach the right people using hashtags. When you use hashtags effectively on TikTok, more people can see your content. Plus, if they see it once and engage with it they’re likely to see it again.

5. Get helpful analytics

If you set your profile to a business account you can get access to all sorts of helpful analytics about how your content is performing and the people who are following you. Having metrics to refer to when analysing your performance on the platform means you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Most common TikTok marketing practises

  • Challenges – Provoke your followers to do something that can become a community activity, thereby creating brand awareness.
  • Questions – Ask your followers questions then share the answers, a simple but effective engagement tool.
  • Influencer marketing – We’ve already mentioned this but this is a great way to reach lots of people with similar interests all at once.
  • Advertising – Just like Facebook and Instagram, TikTok is great for straightforward advertising, from video ads to image ads, in-feed ads, spark ads, and carousel ads.
  • Instructional videos – Show your followers how to make the best of your product or show off your expertise in an area.

Examples of businesses that use TikTok with successful results

  • Red Bull

Red Bull uses its TikTok account to post videos of extreme sports and stunts – entertaining, tick. However, what makes Red Bull’s TikTok account so successful is consistency. For example, Red Bull posts an average of two posts a day, receiving around 1.2 million likes every month. This tactic works because the videos they post are so fun – they either showcase something spectacular, or hilariously bad. This means viewers aren’t sure what’s coming next, but whatever it is, they know they’ll enjoy it.

  • Flighthouse

Starting out as a page where users could find original sounds, Flighthouse pivoted into posting original viral videos and is known for introducing challenges like the Crocs Shoe-Throwing Challenge. Off the back of their success Flighthouse started partnering with other brands, influencers, and celebrities. Now, Flighthouse is the most followed brand account on TikTok and has produced 4,300 TikToks, more than any other brand on the app.

  • Penguin x STMGRP

When Penguin wanted to launch a campaign to re-release Start with Why by Simon Sinek (a business book about how great leaders inspire action), we decided the best place to start would be with TikTok’s library of book lovers, business bosses, and savvy self-help movements – inspiring them to start a new chapter and buy the book.

 

By working with influencers and using paid advertising, we helped drive results by:

- Tapping into niche communities/subcultures – Did you know micro-influencers tend to have higher engagement rates than the more popular creators? The most important thing is to make sure the partnership is a good match and sits within a relevant niche (in our case, the self-help movement was a more effective target area than general #BookTok). When that’s taken care of, the algorithm will do the rest to deliver your content to the right place at the right time. Making the content hyper-relevant for audiences and hyper-effective for marketers.

- Being authentic - For a successful influencer campaign on TikTok, the promotional content should be native to the creator’s current style, match their values, and feel authentic to the audience. For this campaign, it helped make the book reviews and recommendations more trustworthy – and that trust drove action.

- Being flexible – Trust your collaborators know their audience. Though you might have a great concept for a collaboration, make the most of your creator’s insight into what their audience wants from them. Being clear but flexible with your briefs is therefore key to ensuring both parties are happy and that the final output is truly effective.

It’s time to make your mark

Want to find out how your business could be using TikTok for small business marketing? Drop us a line to talk about your vision here and we’ll be in touch to discuss how you can do just that.

TikTok on top of the world

Did you go from being blissfully unaware of the existence of TikTok to suddenly realising it was everywhere, all the time? You’re not alone – the video sharing app has rocketed into public consciousness since its founding in 2016 to a total of 1.8 billion monthly active users (as of writing) and it’s been downloaded more times in the U.S. than any other social app since it emerged.

But what has contributed to TikTok’s sudden rise to power? Well, you may have heard talk of the scarily accurate TikTok algorithm. This story begins with TikTok’s now feted ‘For You Page’. Imagine Facebook or Instagram with no friends – pretty boring, right? This is one of TikTok’s main points of difference to its competitors – the ‘For You Page’ serves you videos whether you have any friends on the app or not. But this is where the magic really begins – after serving you a few videos, its famous algorithm starts to register how you’ve responded to what it’s shown you so far. The things you seemed to like or interact with most, it serves you more of.

So, the more you watch, the more you want to watch. Until you find you’re stuck in a scroll hole and need to climb your way back out again. And this is why it is such an effective marketing tool. In fact, consumer spending on TikTok reached $6 billion in 2022 and it is expected to generate more than $11 billion in U.S. ad revenue by 2024 – outstripping rivals like Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

Is TikTok right for my business?

Of course, just because TikTok is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for every business. And even though increasing amounts of people of all ages are using TikTok, the app still has a core demographic. 5% and 17% of TikTok’s global audience are women and men (respectively) between 18 and 24 years old. 55+ year-olds, on the other hand, make up the smallest group of users, at 1.7%.

So, why use TikTok for your business? Because TikTok is an ideal marketing tool if Gen Z is your target demographic. Gen Z comprises people born between 1996 and 2010 – a fairly wide range, but in short Gen Z are the generation below Millennials.

However, TikTok is used for more than just sales – it can also be used effectively for brand awareness. Of course, your target demographic is still important here, but there are still a lot of users outside of the Gen Z age group using the app. This means, even if your target demographic isn’t Gen Z, you could still make use of the platform if it aligns with your business.

By that we mean – what are you trying to say and how do you like to say it? If you like to have a bit of fun with your marketing, and your TOV tends to be on the less-than-serious side, TikTok might well be the right platform to engage with. But if you prefer to communicate in a more professional tone, there are probably other apps that could serve your needs more effectively.

Benefits of using TikTok for your business marketing

1. Have fun with your marketing

If you’d like to attract more followers and start creating a dialogue with your customers, creating fun and entertaining videos is a great way to do this. In fact, doing so is cheap, cheerful, and the app does the hard parts for you. All you need to do is be a bit creative, especially if you’d like to create something that really makes a splash.

2. Increase brand awareness

Of course, when you are increasing your social media followers, entertaining them, and creating a relationship with them, you are naturally going to increase your brand awareness. And brand awareness produces leads. Essentially, you want your business to the first one your followers think of what they need what you provide. TikTok is a great way to make that happen.

3. Engage in influencer marketing

Influencer marketing can be an extremely powerful tool. Influencers are TikTok users who have a large number of followers. This means, when they advertise a product, they are able to advertise it to a huge amount of people in one go, all of whom are invested in what they have to say. Many influencers work on a principle of authenticity – if they don’t genuinely believe in the product, they won’t talk about it. This means followers tend to trust what they say and find themselves more easily influenced.

4. Make use of hashtags

TikTok has a discover page that means users can search for content based on a topic, such as food or pets. This means content creators can help their content reach the right people using hashtags. When you use hashtags effectively on TikTok, more people can see your content. Plus, if they see it once and engage with it they’re likely to see it again.

5. Get helpful analytics

If you set your profile to a business account you can get access to all sorts of helpful analytics about how your content is performing and the people who are following you. Having metrics to refer to when analysing your performance on the platform means you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Most common TikTok marketing practises

  • Challenges – Provoke your followers to do something that can become a community activity, thereby creating brand awareness.
  • Questions – Ask your followers questions then share the answers, a simple but effective engagement tool.
  • Influencer marketing – We’ve already mentioned this but this is a great way to reach lots of people with similar interests all at once.
  • Advertising – Just like Facebook and Instagram, TikTok is great for straightforward advertising, from video ads to image ads, in-feed ads, spark ads, and carousel ads.
  • Instructional videos – Show your followers how to make the best of your product or show off your expertise in an area.

Examples of businesses that use TikTok with successful results

  • Red Bull

Red Bull uses its TikTok account to post videos of extreme sports and stunts – entertaining, tick. However, what makes Red Bull’s TikTok account so successful is consistency. For example, Red Bull posts an average of two posts a day, receiving around 1.2 million likes every month. This tactic works because the videos they post are so fun – they either showcase something spectacular, or hilariously bad. This means viewers aren’t sure what’s coming next, but whatever it is, they know they’ll enjoy it.

  • Flighthouse

Starting out as a page where users could find original sounds, Flighthouse pivoted into posting original viral videos and is known for introducing challenges like the Crocs Shoe-Throwing Challenge. Off the back of their success Flighthouse started partnering with other brands, influencers, and celebrities. Now, Flighthouse is the most followed brand account on TikTok and has produced 4,300 TikToks, more than any other brand on the app.

  • Penguin x STMGRP

When Penguin wanted to launch a campaign to re-release Start with Why by Simon Sinek (a business book about how great leaders inspire action), we decided the best place to start would be with TikTok’s library of book lovers, business bosses, and savvy self-help movements – inspiring them to start a new chapter and buy the book.

 

By working with influencers and using paid advertising, we helped drive results by:

- Tapping into niche communities/subcultures – Did you know micro-influencers tend to have higher engagement rates than the more popular creators? The most important thing is to make sure the partnership is a good match and sits within a relevant niche (in our case, the self-help movement was a more effective target area than general #BookTok). When that’s taken care of, the algorithm will do the rest to deliver your content to the right place at the right time. Making the content hyper-relevant for audiences and hyper-effective for marketers.

- Being authentic - For a successful influencer campaign on TikTok, the promotional content should be native to the creator’s current style, match their values, and feel authentic to the audience. For this campaign, it helped make the book reviews and recommendations more trustworthy – and that trust drove action.

- Being flexible – Trust your collaborators know their audience. Though you might have a great concept for a collaboration, make the most of your creator’s insight into what their audience wants from them. Being clear but flexible with your briefs is therefore key to ensuring both parties are happy and that the final output is truly effective.

It’s time to make your mark

Want to find out how your business could be using TikTok for small business marketing? Drop us a line to talk about your vision here and we’ll be in touch to discuss how you can do just that.

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